Po­lice dou­ble breath and drug tests

Kyabram Free Press - - NEWS - By Ivy Wise

IN THE past 12 months there have been six fa­tal­i­ties and 27 ac­ci­dents re­quir­ing hos­pi­tal­i­sa­tion across Cam­paspe.

And now our drug- and al­co­hol-af­fected driv­ers are be­ing warned.

The chances of you get­ting caught are much higher, with po­lice dou­bling the num­ber of pre­lim­i­nary breath and drug tests in the shire.

And Cam­paspe high­way pa­trol’s Sergeant Paul Nicoll is mak­ing no apolo­gies — with drug and drink driv­ers risk­ing every­one’s lives on the roads. ‘‘They are crim­i­nals,’’ he said. ‘‘We are try­ing to make our roads safer and keep drink- and drug-af­fected driv­ers off our roads and keep the road toll down.’’

Sgt Nicoll said al­most 30 per cent of driv­ers killed on the roads last year had drugs, al­co­hol or both in their sys­tem.

‘‘One in ev­ery 11 tested for drugs re­turned a pos­i­tive re­sult – that’s a stag­ger­ing per­cent­age and worse, a fright­en­ing one,’’ he said.

Alarm­ingly, drug driv­ing now out­strips drink driv­ing as a cause of fa­tal­i­ties on Vic­to­rian roads.

And Sgt Nicoll said this was also the case across Cam­paspe — with more driv­ers test­ing pos­i­tive to drugs than al­co­hol.

‘‘It’s be­com­ing ev­i­dent by the num­ber of peo­ple we process. We’re get­ting about two to three a week,’’ he said.

‘‘They’re test­ing pos­i­tive to metham­phetamine and cannabis. It’s prob­a­bly 50-50.

‘‘It’s an epi­demic statewide. A sig­nif­i­cant num­ber of drug driv­ers are get­ting caught.’’

Sgt Nicoll said the per­cep­tion that drug driv­ing was not as bad as drink driv­ing was com­pletely un­true.

‘‘It’s just as bad. Drugs im­pair their ca­pa­bil­ity of hav­ing proper con­trol of their ve­hi­cle,’’ he said.

Sgt Nicoll said he had also found many im­paired driv­ers did not learn their les­son.

‘‘We’re find­ing there are a lot of per­sis­tent of­fend­ers who don’t care about their li­cence be­ing dis­qual­i­fied and they just keep driv­ing,’’ he said.

Sgt Nicoll said peo­ple could ex­pect to see more po­lice pres­ence on the roads in the com­ing months.

‘‘We have in­creased the num­ber of tests we are do­ing daily and weekly which is prob­a­bly why peo­ple are see­ing us more,’’ he said.

‘‘The vis­i­ble pres­ence of do­ing tests will likely cause a re­duc­tion in peo­ple drink driv­ing and other of­fences be­cause they see us out there a lot more.’

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.